It's December, can you believe it? With an eventful end to November as Storm Arwen descended upon us we are relieved to finally be into the festive season and enjoying all the fun that comes with it. We are so glad all our Kidsize families are safe and well after the storm and can now enjoy the lead up to Christmas too.
Our Kidsizers were able to enjoy the snow that came along last week. With the option of outdoor play always being available to the children it was no surprise that they were straight out to play in the snow after school. The school playground that we have access to is the perfect spot for some sledging especially due to its slopes.
We provided sleds for the children to use and they were able to take turns and independently decide on a system that allowed for all of the children to get turns going down on a sled. We love to see the children's confidence grow as they sled and get familiar with the sensation of adrenaline. The children's confidence is also able to grow due to their awareness of risks and how to sled safely around each other and any potential objects in the playground. Communication is really important during this kind of activity and encourages the children to interact with each other to ensure the safety and enjoyment of sledging. Check out the fun they had in these photos above.
We followed up our fun in the snow with some warm drinks at snack time which was the perfect way to feel cosy again. The children enjoyed their drinks while discussing the fun they had outside with their peers. Some of the children chose to keep their warm hats and earmuffs on while they warmed up. During these winter months the temperatures can be lower than we may realise so it is important that our Kidsizers have the necessary warm clothes and accessories so that they can continue to enjoy outdoor play as much as they'd like too even in cold weather.
These drinks were a part of a balanced snack that we always strive to provide at Kidsize. We have many children at Kidsize who enjoy a variety of fruit in particular and with the freedom to independently choose and prepare their snack they have been able to create some delicious looking fruit bowls. Our relaxed rolling snack times allow the children to feel in control of their choices which means that we see the children having the confidence to choose to try things they may not have had before. This builds confidence, esteem and self-awareness as they develop their taste for different foods.
In the past couple of weeks the children have been enjoying more craft activities. It was St Andrews day on the thirtieth of November and in recognition of this the children decorated some Scottish flags. This was a fun way to recognise and celebrate St Andrews day and it encourages the awareness and learning of Scottish culture and history. This also provided the opportunity for the children to express their creativity and individuality as some of them chose to do their own version of the Scottish flag with alternative colours and designs.
We have also had Christmas crafts on the go which have included creating felt gingerbread men, decorating stars and snowballs and scratch art bookmarks. To make the gingerbread men the children were required to sew both sides of the cut out felt together which they could then stuff with cotton wool. This craft allowed for the children to practice the skill of sewing which requires the use of their fine motor skills as they threaded the string through the felt. This is a great skill for the children to learn during a play opportunity. The children's stars and snowballs featured some beautiful designs using lots of colourful sequins. Check out their creations below.
We are excited to have welcomed back Elfie, our very own 'Elf on the Shelf.' This year he has returned to us with a friend called Ivan who has come all the way from Russia to visit the children. The children have been so welcoming and have written some lovely letters to Elfie and Ivan.
Kindness is always encouraged and expected at Kidsize and we have enjoyed seeing the children's kindness and excitement displayed in these letters. We are all excited to see what the Elves get up to during the lead up to Christmas.
We have recently acquired small world imaginative toys which have been extremely popular with the children. The children have been interacting with our new dentistry kit, emergency service stations, rabbit hutch, sushi set, cat tree and figurines, camera set, and garden. These imaginative play props provide extensive play opportunities for the children. Imaginative play is extremely beneficial for children and the props that we have provided can be used by the children to stretch and expand their imaginative skills. Imaginative play allows for children to learn about themselves especially when using figurines of people and animals as they can express new feelings and ideas in a safe way through these props.
Props such as the dentistry kit and emergency service stations can allow for children to face life issues that may feel daunting and confusing. Going to the dentist or doctors and seeing emergency vehicles drive by are common experiences and imaginative play surrounding these things can allow for children to become more comfortable and prepared for these life events.
Through imaginative play children can also learn important social skills such as negotiating and being able to consider the perspective of others. We have seen the children do this when using the sushi props and shop props as these skills can be used in customer and seller interactions. When children learn skills such as balancing their views with others, expressing and listening and assigning tasks and roles they are learning the skills required to manage things like work related projects in adult life. These hours of play during their years of development as children are crucial to the individuals they will become and at Kidsize we will always strive to provide the opportunities for this. Have a look at the amazing small world props below.